Black Dragon hacker comes to Liverpool to show North West businesses where systems are vulnerable and how they can protect themselves
A hacker once convicted of breaking into the United Nation’s computer network has been to Liverpool to show firms in the North West just how insecure their IT systems really are.
Aintree-based Stack Group invited superhacker Matthew Beddoes – once known by the pseudonym the Black Dragon – to speak to businesses to de-mystify the world of computer hacking and demonstrate precisely how easy it can be to break into a system if businesses do not take proper precautions.
Using a £30 Raspberry Pi computer, which is commonly used to teach schoolchildren about basic computer programming, Beddoes hacked into delegates’ smartphones and explained how the simple system could bypass traditional security features including the well known https, used by banks and indicated by a small padlock in the top corner of an internet browser.
“All this code is free and publicly available said the Shropshire-born expert. “Basically with some very cheap kit I could hack into every smartphone on a coffee shop wifi system where people might be looking at work emails, bank details or shopping on line. I can see all that information and even plant code into their device that will send me all their access keys and passwords. Then I’d have full access to their network.
“Don’t be fooled by someone telling you your data is secure. If you are accessing the system wirelessly, it is never secure.”
Beddoes was caught stealing carbon credits from the United Nations to sell on. He was jailed for three years and now offers his expertise to businesses to help them identify areas of security weakness.
Stack Group – which provides one of the most secure cloud computing systems available to business – and the group’s security partners including Safenet, Kaspersky, Watchguard, Shoretel and Avigilon IPCCTV were also on-hand to speak to delegates about how their products, operating within Stack’s highly-secure data storage facility, can build a commercial network with a high level of protection.
“Users of our system benefit from their data being pre-encrypted which counteracts some data-destroying and data stealing viruses and programmes,” said Jeff Orr, CEO of Stack Group.
“Live hacking is a different kind of threat. Beddoes has demonstrated that no system is ever 100% secure. He showed too, via the “Dark Web”, that there are businesses that will pay a lot of money to hackers to breach competitors systems to either steal corporate data or shut-down networks.
“By investing in the best protection you can afford, you can at least give yourself some peace of mind. Be aware your systems weaknesses and of the risks to your business networks, particularly when connecting wirelessly to public networks”
It is worth noting that at the event Beddoes confessed that despite throwing everything at it for almost a month he failed to breach our WatchGuard XTM Firewall.
Stack Group provides cloud computing, virtualisation, data storage, backup and security services plus a range of mobile technology solutions and integrated office systems for businesses. Contact 0151 521 2202 or visit www.stack.co.uk for more details.